Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Poll the Jury

I've been called for jury duty once, and they put me on that one. I found it an encouraging experience, because my fellow jurors made such a sincere effort to get it right. We had a guy who had already pleaded guilty to possession of pot, and he was also charged with selling it. We acquitted him on that charge. I think we all suspected he probably had sold it, but we didn't think the prosecutor had proved it beyond a reasonable doubt. I was so glad we could legitimately let him off. The prosecutor was pissed afterward, but it was his own fault for bringing a weak case. All the "evidence" was circumstantial, just as the public defender I quoted yesterday said most trials are.

Take the poll! You can give multiple answers, oh boy!

34 comments:

Nancy P said...

Tis nearly midnight and my eyelids are drooping. I'll see you when the rooster crows.

AndiF said...

I'm on the jury panel right now. It's the fourth time but the only time I got called, the case was settled before the trial started. (Interestingly, Jim has never been impaneled.)

Beth said...

I've been called 3 times, but twice I was living in a different state, and the third was cancelled the night before. So I've escaped so far. One of these days it'll catch up with me.

Andif is the early bird this morning!

Morning, all.

Family Man said...

I've been called once back in the early seventies. Never went to trial though.

I guess they figured better than to have Gomer Pyle on jury duty. :)

Hope everyone's day is pleasant.

Nancy P said...

Cockadoodle doo.

Man, you guys are early birds!

pattinase (abbott) said...

They never let me serve because my son is a prosecutor. Even though I tell them I am prone to go the opposite way if anything. I guess that puts off both sides.

katiebird said...

I've never been called. Mister and my mom have been called dozens of times. I can't remember if he's ever had to do a trial. But my mom had to sit through a horrible rape case. And my dad was out of town during the whole thing. So she had to come home alone after listening to the horrific details.

katiebird said...

Good Morning Nancy & Andif & Beth & FamilyMan & Pattinase (have we met?)

Now that I've had some coffee, I can see that it's a lovely, lovely day.

Nancy P said...

Pattinase, your son is a prosecutor? I'm jealous. What a great and handy research resource! And lol about scaring both sides off.

Nancy P said...

Morning, kb. It's so odd how some people get called again and again and others of us either never or rarely. I wonder why the system works that way.

Jen said...

I got called once when I lived in Miami but as soon as I wrote down that I worked for a lawyer they decided that my time would be best spent elsewhere. My then-girlfriend also got called, and she came thisclose to sitting on a capital punishment trial -- she was among the very last of the pool dismissed.

Conda said...

Years ago, I was on a jury. But it was a civil case, not criminal. It taught me that sometimes people are...too emotional for their own good.

Then I worked for a law office for 7 years, also civil cases. Somehow I managed avoiding becoming too much of a cynic.

Maybe.

Now, I keep getting called. But because I worked for a local law office, my chances of serving are slim.

FARfetched said...

I voted both acquitted & convicted, because it happened on the same case. The DA was charging this poor schmuck with possession & possession with intent to distribute. His girlfriend, who had already been convicted, told us that it was her pot and her car & he was just along for the ride. Personally, I thought he'd have just as soon smoked up the whole stash himself (we had a pretty big ol' bag of evidence on the table, and we the jury joked about having a par-tay! right there in the courthouse). So we convicted him of simple possession, but let him off on the distribution charge.

Didn't matter: it was his 3rd drug conviction, and he got a mandatory 15 years.

FARfetched said...

Almost forgot... we all agreed that the guy probably needed a new set of friends a *lot* more than he needed jail time. Too bad the courts can't hand that down as a sentence: the classic Western "get outta town before sundown."

Rick Bylina said...

The only time I was called for jury duty was the day after I moved out of the county. Go figure.

My wife was on the grand jury for a year in our county. Her experience provided much fodder for one of my novels.

D.A.'s can't really indict a ham sandwich, as suggested in two different mysteries I've read, but that doesn't seem too far from the truth. In an entire year, not one indictment request was denied.

-rick
http://muse-needed.blogspot.com/

olivia said...

Never.

Kelly McCullough said...

Not yet.

Nancy P said...

Hi, Jen. I would say almost anything to get out of being on a cap murder case. "Why, yes, your honor, I have actually killed someone."

Nancy P said...

Conda, did people yell at each other on your jury?

Nancy P said...

God, I hate our drug laws, and your story, Far, demonstrates why. 15 years for distributing what probably half the people in the courtroom had smoked!

Nancy P said...

Rick--

"D.A.'s can't really indict a ham sandwich"

You really are so funny. Has anybody ever told you that you ought to be a writer? :)

Nancy P said...

Hi, Olivia and Kelly! You guys are the Queen and King of Succinct, today.

How ya feelin', Kelly.

Nancy P said...

There was supposed to be a question mark after "Kelly." I'm guessing you figured that out.

I'm gone again starting tomorrow, but I'll be back in time for Sunday blogging.

Kelly McCullough said...

A little under the weather and a lot behind the 8-ball. Copyedited manuscript arrived Yesterday and went in the stack with student work to critique, promotional stuff, class prep, and the next book. October is going to be tight.

Beth said...

Good luck getting through your pile, Kelly, and hope you feel better soon. And Nancy, safe travels again - I'm heading to NC on Friday, back Tuesday, but will have internet access while I'm gone. We'll see you back on Sunday!

FARfetched said...

Nancy, I agree. The drug laws in this country leave a lot to be desired. If you've read back in my blog, you'll see where The Boy has run afoul of them as well. OK, OK, he needed that kick in the head, but it seems like the justice system could handle things a little better than they do.

Y'all might be glad to know I've gotten moving on two of three projects after a few days of nuttin'. Off to write a little more, I think. Luvs y'all!

Nancy P said...

That's great, far!!

Happy traveling, Beth, and happy healing, Kelly.

boran2 said...

I used to get out of it quickly as an attorney but now everyone must serve. It's a waste because I'm always excluded upon being questioned.

Kelly McCullough said...

Safe travels, Beth, Nancy.

Nancy P said...

Thanks, Kelly.

Yeah, boran2, seems like you could just send them a note saying, "I'm a lawyer. You won't want me. Bye."

GhostFolk.com said...

¿QuĂ©? Diga por favor eso otra vez.

Gracias, cucaracha.

Beth said...

I think it's Portugese, ghost! I don't do Portugese. But apparently you do Spanish!!

Foreign language spam...hmmm.

GhostFolk.com said...

Wow, thanks Beth!

That's why I couldn't understand it. Whew.

I should have noticed all the little o's.

GhostFolk.com said...

P.S. I thought sailor's all know a little Portugese. :-)

Maybe that's pirates.